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Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeffrey Wishman Discusses the Dangers of Credit Card Interest

May 22, 2013 02:10pm  

 

Los Angeles, CA—Bankruptcy law wasn't what Jeffrey Wishman thought that he'd be doing when he became a lawyer.

“I didn't even take a bankruptcy course in law school,” Wishman recalled to islaws.com in a recent interview.  “I graduated, and was looking for a job, and this opportunity came up at a bankruptcy law firm.  I kind of fell into it, and it was exactly the type of thing that I wanted to do, but I didn't know it until I got there.”

(More on  News at IsLAWS.com)

After nine years working for that law firm, Wishman and two partners, Leon Bayer and Pete Leotta, decided to go into the bankruptcy law business for themselves and formed the law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta in 1989.  Today, Wishman is a practitioner who has won a number of accolades, including an award for pro bono service.  “We wanted to do things a little differently than they did, and we had made a lot of friends and connections,” Wishman says.  “So we broke in and did things similar to the way they did, but with a little more personal attention.”

While the firm has grown to take on one additional attorney, it remains small, which Wishman says is by design.  “We maintain a small, hands-on atmosphere, with quality work.  It's a fun place to work.  It's work, but it's a fun place to work.  I enjoy coming into work each day.  I don't dread it like a lot of other people do with their jobs.”

According to Wishman, being a bankruptcy practitioner means seeing clients from all walks of life.  “Some people come in who are on the poverty level, and some of them come in who have made millions of dollars and have just fallen on hard times or made bad investments,” he says.

Because he's seen so many bankruptcy filers, Wishman has advice for people hoping to avoid having to file in the future.  “You have to live within your means,” he explains.  “There's nothing wrong with having a credit card, but pay it off each month, if you can, so that you don't have to pay interest.  Interest will kill you, and people don't realize that.  They sometimes figure that they can afford the $30 minimum payment, so why not buy the big screen TV?”

Wishman says that one of the biggest problems facing bankruptcy attorneys today is the fact that there's a lot of competition out there—and not all of it is particularly ethical or skilled.  “There are a lot of fly by night places that will try to get debtors to file on their own, where they really just shuffle some papers around and hand them to the debtor and make them file,” he says.  “They'll advertise real low prices, but it's really not an attorney.  You're not getting any service.  You're not doing anything that you couldn't do yourself.”

People who have already filed for bankruptcy, according to Wishman, need to take extra care to ensure that it doesn't happen again.  “You have this fresh start, which allows you to get back to a better position,” he says.  “Bankruptcy relieves you of most of your debts.  It's hard to put a value on peace of mind when you're carrying a debt load and have bill collectors calling you.”

If you would like to know more about Jeffrey Wishman and Bayer, Wishman and Leotta click here.

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